The Zimbabwe National Union of School Heads (ZINUSH) has said schools should remain closed throughout winter and only reopen when the government has met all the safety precautions.
Before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Zimbabwe had three terms with the first running from January through March, the second starting in May ending in August while the third would start in September and end in December.
The second term is now in now as stakeholders are saying the government should consider closing schools until winter passes to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in learning institutions.
ZINUSH president, Mr John Muzamani said in a statement that it was in the interest of learners and teachers’ safety not to open schools early. He said:
_With regards to schools reopening, we suggest that all schools remain closed throughout the winter season and consider reopening when it is warmer and relatively safer._
_That should be around mid-August. When the time to reopen schools comes, the Government needs to consider reopening first those schools in districts that would not be under localized lockdown._
Heads also spoke against a straight jacket approach on schools saying those schools in hot spot districts need to remain closed and be opened on a case basis and under strict monitoring. They also requested for:
- Schools to be treated as separate entities when Covid 19 cases are found in schools.
- Government must avail adequate PPEs in schools through engaging many different stakeholders and partners.
- schools should have safe running water to enable washing hands and sanitizing during COVID-19 times.
- The government must increase testing and vaccination of teachers before opening schools to prevent mass spreading when schools reopen.
This call is made when Bondolfi Teachers College in Masc=vingo and other learning institutions across the country were forced to close after cases of the coronavirus had been recorded.